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2013 NFL Draft Fallout: New England Patriots

The 2013 NFL Draft transformed 32 NFL rosters. Around The League will examine the aftershocks in our Draft Fallout series. First up: The New England Patriots

The Big Question: Can the young wide receivers contribute right away?

Bill Belichick doesn't have a great track record drafting wide receivers since scoring big with Deion Branch and David Givens early in Belichick's Patriot run. Some examples: Taylor Price, Brandon Tate, Chad Jackson and Bethel Johnson.

Second-round pick Aaron Dobson has insane physical skills, but he's raw. Fourth-round pick Josh Boyce is coming off a foot injury. Tom Brady needs one of these guys, if not both, to contribute now. The Patriots are very thin at wide receiver, with Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and Donald Jones comprising a weak top-three on the depth chart. Wide receiver is not an easy position to learn at the NFL level. The Patriots know that better than most teams, but they will look to at least one of their rookies to produce.

Boyce may be the better bet to catch on quickly because of his short-area quickness, possibly playing out of the slot. Dobson will play on the outside.

Three Takeaways

  1. Second-round pick Jamie Collins has a chance to play a big role immediately as a situational pass rusher.

I listed defensive end as the Patriots' biggest need heading into the 2013 NFL Draft. Chandler Jones is their only pass rusher. Collins, listed at defensive end, can stand up as a linebacker and play in coverage, giving Belichick more flexibility.

  1. The draft-day trade to acquire LeGarrette Blount probably won't amount to much. The power running back probably has an uphill battle just to make the team. Blount looks like Stevan Ridley injury insurance.
  1. The Patriots' obsession with all things Rutgers is bordering on comical.

They added three draft picks and an undrafted free agent from Greg Schiano's old school, including two third-round picks in the secondary: physical cornerback Logan Ryan and surprise safety pick Duron Harmon. So why didn't Schiano want any of these guys?

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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